Happy New Year!
We made our way to the east coast on the 27th of December to compete in the Thunder Selects Basketball Tournament held at St. Mary’s University in Halifax. We opened with an ugly win over the #8 ranked St. Mary’s Huskies, followed by a disappointing loss to Acadia, and then a decent win over Dalhousie. We did manage to squeeze in time to take the team out to Peggy’s Cove on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny morning – the players loved it.
Queen’s 55 – St. Mary’s 47
Given that we (and St. Mary’s) had almost a month off since our last full team practice, it is not too surprising that precision was not the order of the day. This seemed to affect our shooting percentage more than anything, but our passing suffered also. On the positive side, our “grind-out” defence, in particular the pressure we exerted on the ball, allowed us to pull out the win. The first quarter showed little finesse by either team and resulted in a 13-8 lead for us, shooting only 29% to St. Mary’s 20% from the floor. St. Mary’s turned the tables in the second quarter, outscoring us 11-16 to go into half in a 24 all tie. We shot only 26% in the quarter compared to St. Mary’s 36%. The third quarter, while still not great, was our best of the game, outscoring St. Mary’s 17-8 while shooting 46% and holding our opponent to only 10%. St. Mary’s outscored us by 1 in the fourth, 14-15. No question our defence, and our ability to challenge St. Mary’s 3-point shooters, made the difference. This game did emphasize the depth of our team, however, as 27 of our 55 points came from our bench. Emily Hazlett (playing closer to home – she’s from New Brunswick) finished with 10 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals, and was named Player of the Game for Queen’s. Marianne Alarie also scored 10 points to go along with her 4 boards and 2 steals. Abby Dixon continued her tenacious defensive work, exerting enormous pressure on the St. Mary’s guards and shooters.
Queen’s 52 – Acadia 73
As disappointing as this performance was, I must give a lot of credit to Acadia, who came out with a great deal of intensity, looking to avenge their loss to us in the pre-season. It was evident early on in the game that our “legs were not with us”. There was no lift in our shots and everything fell short. Acadia outscored us 11-15 in the first, despite the fact that we had more shots than them. We were 0 for 5 from behind the arc. The game picked up in the second quarter, but our turnovers led to more scoring opportunities for Acadia, and they capitalized stretching their 4-point lead to 8 with a 20-24 quarter. Acadia continued to execute in the third quarter and added another 8 points to their lead, 14-22. Our execution in the fourth continued to struggle, only managing 7 points (to Acadia’s 12) on 12% shooting. Our overall game shooting was only 27% and we turned the ball over 27 times. Marianne Alarie finished with 14 points, 4 assists and 4 steals (and was named Player of the Game for Queen’s), while Myriam Fontaine chipped in with 10 points and 4 boards.
Queen’s 77 – Dalhousie 48
We got off to a very slow start in this game against a very young, but talented Dalhousie team. Despite taking 5 more shots than Dal in the quarter, they led 14-17 after one. Our defence really clamped down in the second quarter, forcing 10 turnovers. Unfortunately, we struggled to convert the turnovers into points and only outscored Dal 12-6 to take a 26-23 half-time lead. The third quarter looked like our team in mid-stride from the fall, dominating every aspect of the game. We outscored Dalhousie 30-10 shooting 52% from the floor, 50% from the 3pt line and 83% from the foul line. We continued to roll in the fourth quarter, winning 21-15. Once again, our team depth was evident with 32 of our 77 points coming off the bench. Gemma Bullard showed signs of her previous all-star status with a very efficient 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals (and was named Player of the Game for Queen’s), while Marianne Alarie and Robyn Pearson each added 12 points. Robyn just missed her double-double, with 9 rebounds. Emma Ritcey had a perfect game shooting (2 for 2 from the floor, 1 for 1 from the 3pt line, and 4 for 4 from the foul line), to finish with 11 points. Abby Dixon was recognized as a Tournament All-Star, primarily for her outstanding defensive work, but with a solid all-around performance as well.
Up Next on the Road:
Friday, January 6 @ Western 6pm
Saturday, January 7 @ Windsor 6pm
Up Next at Home:
Friday, January 13 vs. Ryerson 6pm
Saturday, January 14 vs. Toronto 6pm (Shoot for the Cure – Breast Cancer Research game)
Have a great week!